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The controversy on whether eggs are good or bad for human consumption has been going on for as long as I can remember. For every study that says eggs are bad, there is inevitably another stating the contrary. This teeter-tottering between egg enthusiasts and egg detractors has now lead us to a new study promoting the idea that eating egg yolks is almost as bad as smoking cigarettes.

I will admit that I was taken in by this new study’s disappointing findings because I eat multiple eggs on a daily basis. As a pescetarian, I need all the protein I can get and I always considered eggs to be the perfect protein source. After briefly considering giving up these delicious globular proteins, I came to the conclusion that there must be a special interest group behind these never-ending egg-hating studies. It would have to be a group so deeply connected and passionate about stopping egg consumption that time after time they could shamelessly defy logic and push ridiculously deceiving anti-egg propaganda. That’s when it dawned on me. Only one group stands to gain something from discouraging people from consuming healthy, delicious eggs: Chickens!

This is a 100% factual reenactment:

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After my second growth spurt at age 12, I remember wishing more than anything that it would be my last. I was in 5th grade and was already 5’9, which left me towering over most of my girl friends and all of the boys I liked.

Being a tall woman is one thing, especially if you are a Swedish Supermodel with willowy limbs and giant breasts, but being a tall girl with a pudgy face, crooked teeth, terrible haircuts, and poor balance makes it a little less romantic. You see, when you are tall, people comment on your body and what you should do with it all the time. “You’re so big!” people would tell me. “You should play basketball!” “Man you’re tall, do you sleep in a grow-bag?” “Look at you! You’re huge!” “How is the air up there?” “Hey Stretch!” After a while, you get used to the finger-pointing, stupid jokes, snide comments from gossipy girls, and uncomfortable stares. You get used to sticking out. You get used to being mistaken for being older and more mature than you actually are. You might not like it, but you have to adapt. I adapted with poor posture, reclusive tendencies, and a loathing for the word “big.”

Then I had my final growth spurt, making me just a hair shy of 6 feet tall. There was no use trying to hide it anymore. I was going to be tall (“big”) forever.

In high school, a very short male classmate was dared to “accidentally” walk into my chest because his face was at the perfect level to smash into my breasts. He pulled it off successfully and shocked me to the core. My immediate reaction to such a thing was to laugh with him and the other boys who dared him, acting as if I was in on the joke, as if it didn’t make me feel incredibly violated and defenseless. I remember rushing to the bathroom to compartmentalize my immediate emotions (i.e. punch the door on the bathroom stall while crying). That experience made me grow very self-protective and fiercely defensive of my personal space.

Some people stand out because of their striking good looks or fashion statements. I stand out because I’m taller than most of the people I stand next to. I can’t help it.

Normal sized people have this misperception that being tall is awesome. Period. They have never had to shop around for tall women’s clothes. Jeans rarely come in sizes long enough to fit my legs. You might be able to have jeans and pant hems taken up, but you can’t add inches to the bottom.  Rarely are shirts long enough for my torso while also fitted in the waist. Also, another unglamorous aspect of the non-altitude challenged? Big feet. Try finding those cute shoes in a size 10-12. If a store even carries larger sized shoes the selection is usually grouped together on a tiny shelf consisting of ugly clogs and hideous white clunker heels even your Great Aunt (whose idea of a fashionable summer dress is a sleeveless Hawaiian patterned moo moo) will not touch. So being tall isn’t completely awesome, though I have grown to appreciate the extra inches.

Since college, I’ve been working on embracing my height. There are some good perks after all. When I put on my “ice queen” face and walk with excellent “I’ll kick your ass” posture, people tend to move out of my way. I can reach the items on the top shelf at the grocery store and often help those who can’t. When I put a lot of effort into my hair, make-up, and clothes (including high heels) I feel good about standing out in a crowd, though I usually get a few “Why are you wearing heels when you’re so tall?” comments to which I reply “Because I like them!” Heels give a certain swagger and confidence to your walk. There are no height restrictions for heel wearers. So what if I’m practically 6’3 when wearing heels. Heel police can shove it!

Finding boyfriends who weren’t intimidated by my height was a little difficult. A tall man is a hot commodity for most women, but many tall men prefer to date shorter women. Some men feel emasculated by tall women. Either way, I find that men who are intimidated or dissuaded by my height are not worth dating anyway.

 

I realize that all of this may sound like a giant (pun intended) whine session by a tall drama queen. There are cons and social awkwardness with nearly every body type imaginable. In a time when being remarkably slender is often associated with feminine perfection, all women and girls at some point in their lives have suffered with feeling too big, regardless of their height.

Being tall is really not something to complain about in the scheme of things, but it’s not exactly what I’d call “awesome.” Most of my height-related problems took place in school and now that many years have passed, I can honestly say that being a tall woman is no longer a major issue for me. I don’t feel like a freak as much as I used to and I try to use height as an advantage.

I’ve heard that in Africa being told you are “as beautiful as a giraffe” is the highest compliment a woman can get. Lots of good things are tall and I just happen to be one of them.

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Some people think Halloween weddings are odd and tacky, but all weddings have the potential to be odd and tacky depending on who’s getting married.

There is always a line between fabulous and over-the-top ridiculousness.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

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Unless you are a masochist, if I were to ask you to choose between a bludgeon to the head or a pale body all summer, chances are you’d choose the pale body.

It is the logical choice after all. Yet logic doesn’t play a role when it comes to the act of tanning. Year after year people plop down under the sun, absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation into their skin for the purpose of darkening its color.

Why? Because it supposedly makes you look better.

UV radiation is a proven human carcinogen, considered as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. Whether you are lying out on the beach or in a tanning bed, there is no such thing as a safe tan. Both methods expose your body to harmful, damaging UV rays. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is as much a cause of cancer as chimney sweeping and asbestos removal.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THIS EPIC BLOG ENTRY ON TANNING

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According to The Encarta Dictionary, an urban legend is “a bizarre untrue story that circulates in a society through being presented as something that actually happened.” We’ve all heard the one about the “Hook Man Killer” who comes across an isolated couple fooling around in their car at Lovers’ Lane, or the one about the babysitter who keeps getting prank calls from…wait for it…inside the house. Dun, dun, dunnnnnnn!

Most urban legends are silly campfire horror stories, based on zero factual evidence, intended to shock and entertain us. With that in mind, Telegraph newspaper has an article about Kent University’s research conclusion that date-rape drink spiking is merely an urban legend, perpetuated by women who had a “bad night out.”

Really?

In the article “Date-rape drink spiking ‘an urban legend,’” Stephen Adams reports that researchers believe the date-rape drink spiking urban legend is “fuelled by young women unwilling to accept they have simply consumed too much alcohol.” In other words, women blame the date-rape drug as a means of denying responsibility and excusing any crazy or regretful behavior from the previous night of drinking.

What I find very disturbing, among many things in the article, is how casually the connection between sexual assault and the date-rape drug is dealt with. Throughout the article, Adams reiterates the study’s conclusion that there is “no evidence to suggest that rape victims are commonly drugged,” yet he fails to acknowledge that no matter how uncommon the study suggests it is, drink spiking has indeed been used in cases of sexual assault.

To call date-rape drink spiking an urban legend is to deny the harsh reality that it occurs, brush it aside as a campfire tale, and point the blame at women for being overly and illogically paranoid about being drugged.

It’s one thing to suggest that women who have nasty hangovers following a night of drinking might wrongly assume that their severe hangover was the result of a possible drink spiking, but it’s utterly outrageous to state that spiking drinks with a date-rape drug is a completely fictitious occurrence. It’s not. However rare as people might think it is, drink spiking is used in sexual assaults. Period.

To suggest that women’s anxiety about drink spiking is based on groundless, illogical fear is a dangerous, hate-filled, victim-blaming message. Perhaps the heightened awareness women have about the date-rape drug has reduced the actual occurrences, but that doesn’t mean they never happen.

Date-rape drink spiking is not an urban legend and it is incredibly offensive to suggest otherwise.

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During the weeks leading up to October 31st, I find myself uncontrollably drawn to Halloween specialty stores. There is something addictive about walking through the cobwebbed doors and seeing disgusting mannequins contorted into abnormal angles, foaming at the mouth, and dripping with plastic maggots. Somewhere between the fog machines, the strobe lights, the creepy humanoid animatronics, and the plethora of nasty little devices, I start to feel like I was granted free admission to Disneyland.

This year, Drew and I couldn’t withstand our urges to go visit a few of these stores (I find myself eternally grateful that I found a boyfriend who enjoys morbidity almost as much as I do). Like most people in the stores, we were compelled to try on every goofy hat, plastic ass attachment, and creepy mask we could find. We were joking with some of the employees and practically skipping around with glee when we heard something that stopped us in our tracks:

“Oooo, Mom! Look! They have the Playboy Costumes!”

Drew and I both looked over at the young girl running towards the sexy costumes. She couldn’t be over 13 years old! So what does her mother do? She follows the young girl over to that section and starts commenting on how cute the costumes are while her daughter asks if she can get one.

Wow.

It’s not like I can’t understand this young girl’s desire to wear one. Naturally, young girls want to copy the big girls. If you look around on Halloween, 85% of teenage girls and women seem to be wearing some sort of “Sexy” version of a costume.

It’s like an implicit agreement among some women to compete for the skimpiest costume, leaving the rest of us to choose from the following costumes:

-Stripper

-Stripper

-Stripper with wings

-Stripper with horns and tail

-Stripper with furry ears and tail

-Witchy Stripper

-Beloved childhood character Stripper

So I’m left wondering, does anyone else feel like women’s Halloween costumes need some variation?

The “sexy for the sake of being sexy” costumes are too predictable nowadays, so lets be more original. In no way am I suggesting that we all wear moo moos or cover ourselves like Puritans. What I am suggesting is that we bring more than just the sexy look to the table. We are clever women and our costumes should reflect that. Don’t be afraid to prioritize being funny and original over being sexy. I’d love to see someone dressed as a giant Pink Taco or as a Narcoleptic Acrobat. Come on, it will be fun!

Also for fun, check out The 10 Worst Sexy Halloween Costumes

Addition: This is the “Cage Catsuit” costume. Price: $86.  Yes, $86.
Caged Catsuit

Just looks like a black bikini with long straps and some uncomfortable high heels to me.

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vaccine

With all this panic and fear-mongering about potential deaths caused by the H1N1 Swine Flu this coming Flu Season, more and more people are considering whether or not to seek out the fast-tracked vaccine. By mid October/ early November, the Government plans to start administering its first batch of the swine-flu vaccine, aiming to vaccinate as many people as possible starting with those considered to be of high priority: seniors, children, and pregnant women. This strategy is what’s commonly referred to as “Herd Immunity,” a form of disease control achieved by inoculating a large portion of the population and thereby halting the spread of the virus to those who are not immunized. Volunteers are only just now starting to test the vaccine this month.

But many recall the “Swine Flu Debacle of 1976,” where the government panicked and pushed for everyone to get vaccinated after only 1 reported death. The anticipated epidemic never really broke out and many people who got vaccinated developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralyzing neuromuscular disorder that killed and/or crippled people both young and old. The 1976 Swine Flu threat was one that never materialized. The vaccine became the true villain.

Yet, the 2009 Swine Flu is different from the debacle of 1976. Today, reports of confirmed cases are widespread and according to the US Centers of Disease, as of August 20th, there have been 522 swine flu related deaths. Of those deaths, many had pre-existing health conditions, but some were relatively young and healthy. As alarming as that may sound, that is quite typical for flu related deaths. The reality is that even the young and healthy can succumb to the seasonal flu.

On average, 35,000 Americans die each year from seasonal flu-related illnesses. So what about the media reporting the prediction of 90,000 Swine Flu Deaths in the US this fall? Even the Centers for Disease Control representatives emphasize that it should not be considered a “prediction,” but rather, a “worst case scenario.” WebMD reports that Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, explained the scenario as not very likely, but that it will help “justify the extensive preparations being made for the fall flu season and in pointing out areas where greater efforts are needed.” In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced, “”We will not know until the middle of flu season how serious this is.”

So the question remains, should you get vaccinated against the Swine Flu? The answer is complicated and varies from individual to individual.

Any time you get a vaccination, you are putting preservatives and additives in your body – some may include diluted forms of aluminum and formaldehyde. More often than not, the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks.

With 5 pharmaceutical manufacturers working hard to develop Swine Flu vaccines, each using a variety of ingredients and manufacturing methods, it is hard to know what is being used and why. Will there be a live weakened virus’ in the vaccine? Will there be squalene-containing adjuvants? Will there be a series of shots or just one? Is there an indemnity agreement, as there was in 1976, which protects the pharmaceutical companies if the vaccine proves to be dangerous or, worse, lethal? Can we be reassured that those who receive the vaccine will not contract Guillain Barre Syndrome as many did in 1976?

The answers to those questions are difficult to find in the collection of information surrounding H1N1 vaccine production. Contradictory information and slanted facts make finding truth nearly impossible.

What is clear is that there have been many setbacks in the rush to create a vaccine, from issues of potency and safety to worries about supply and demand. The question of whether the vaccine is as safe as the seasonal flu vaccine (upon which it is based) will be answered in the ongoing clinical trials. In the meantime, we should all refrain from panic, research our facts before we act, and stick to common sense when it comes to personal hygiene.

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